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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

WHO report on Ukraine sparks fierce debate between US and Russia

The United States and Russia disagreed over a World Health Organization report on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Moscow said it was politically motivated, while Washington called for it to be updated as soon as possible.

The report by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was presented to the organization’s board, which includes both the United States and Russia.

The report lists more than 14,000 civilian casualties, 17.7 million people in need of humanitarian aid and 7.5 million Ukrainian refugees forced to migrate across Europe.

The WHO report notes that out of 471 heavy weapon attacks on medical facilities worldwide, 448 took place in Ukraine.

US Representative to the UN Sheba Crocker called for an updated report to also document incidents in Ukraine since September.

“The Russian attacks … have caused incredible damage to the civilian population and critical infrastructure in Ukraine,” she said at the council meeting, according to a statement from her office.

“…This senseless death and destruction is taking a heavy toll on the access of children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations to vital health services,” Crocker added.

The Russian representative on the WHO Council called the report politicized and biased and considered the information about Ukraine presented in it as baseless accusations.

Moscow has denied attacks on civilians in Ukraine since the start of what it calls a special military operation that has led to the destruction of Ukrainian cities, the death of thousands of fighters and the shock of the world economy.

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